- Parliament has given approval for the government to use the Contingency Fund to combat coronavirus
- GHC1.2 billion would be accessed from the fund to support the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP)
- The approval was given after the minister of finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, presented a policy document in Parliament
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Parliament has granted approval for GHC1.2 billion to be used to fund the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP).
The finance committee of Parliament gave the government approval to access funds from the Contingency Fund to support the CAP.
Information available shows this the decision was reached after the minister of finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, presented a policy document on CAP to seek approval for the amount.
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Myjoyonline reports that this followed a demand by the Minority side with regard to details of the funds requested by the government to combat the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Ofori-Atta explained that GHC280 million out of the amount would be used for food packages and hot meals while GHC40 million would be diverted to the National Buffer Stock Company.
He added that another GHC200 million would be used for water and sanitation bills and GHC241 million would cover the tax waiver for health professionals.
Ofori-Atta further stated that GHC80 million would be given to health staff as allowances, GHC2 million would be used on transportation for them and GHC600 million would be released as soft loans for businesses.
The finance committee’s chairman, Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah, noted that his office is writing to the finance minister to authorize him to access the funds.
He added that Article 177(1) of the 1992 Constitution mandates the committee to grant approval of such nature without plenary approval.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Association of Bankers (GAB) has announced a plan to reduce its benchmark rate by 200 basis points.
The move is an attempt to reduce the impact of the coronavirus on businesses and individuals in Ghana.
The reduction, YEN.com.gh has learned, is equivalent to 2% on bank loans and follows a 1.5% reduction in the policy rate by the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of Ghana.
GAB’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), D.K Mensah, explained that the interest rate cut affects all existing local currency-denominated loans and for all new loans to be sanctioned by member banks.
READ ALSO: Gov't opens up on new 2020 budgets; outlines reliefs and projections
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